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I have just finished listening to the latest episode of Cast-On. I feel that Cast-On has truly lost its way. The latest episode is about 30 minutes long with 4 songs and possibly less than 5 minutes about actual knitting. There was an apology about including ads on some people’s podcasts, I am glad I am not in the ‘target market’ geographical area as the insertion of car ads mid podcast would have pissed me off no end. There was a little skit about the lack of comments on the website, perhaps this is indicative of the loss of interest in the podcast itself. This year has been filled with Brenda navel gazing self-indulgencing, with less and less knitting. Get back to talking about the knitting…that’s why we listen. We already have Lime & Violet for epic 2 hour knitting podcasts about spiders, dead llamas and everything but knitting. That’s unfair…occasionally they talk knitting, mainly yarn porn or Violet’s ever expanding empire and ways of manipulating people into helping her. I am also getting bored of Sticks & String – the music is dull and there is the same speech by David every week about how to contact him and how he will get back to everyone eventually, but I still listen for the Australian content and some great interviews (Kaffe Fassett for example).
The podcast I have really been enjoying is Y KNIT, this is a witty fresh podcast with funny hosts and kooky way of presenting. Check it out.
Or Stash and Burn, just two girls talking knitting.
Rant over. Maybe I should stop whingeing and start my own…

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I have been a slack blogger of late. No excuse.

I have finished the shawl! Woo hoo! I blocked it once. But I don’t think I was mean enough, so I blocked it again. I am tickled pink with the results. The first picture is from the first blocking but I think gives the best colour representation. The colours are very hard to photograph! I present to you the Cascading Leaves Shawl in Goth Mermaid (custom dye) Live2Knit 4ply Elizabeth.

After the second blocking, looking forward to giving it to my friend!

I hav just sent off for a lace blocking kit and am totally lace bug bitten. I am finding it very difficult to stop myself from casting on another lace project straight away.

Wot’s on the Needs

  • still plugging away on the Tiger’s Eye Lace Scarf. This is helping to keep the lace bug in check at the moment.
  • Cast on Hexacomb Cardigan in Paton’s Serenity in Pink with Black contrasting colour. I like the bamboo/cotton Serenity but I am not quite sure about the yarn with the pattern. In one moment, I dislike it because I don’t think it shows the hexacomb pattern properly and the material is quite drapey, then I catch sight of my work in progress in another light and I think it looks lovely. Ah well, let’s see how it turns out.

Yarn Purchases
Took a little trip to Wool Baa last week and bought the pink Serenity and;

  • More Serenity in black for Acton
  • Centolavaggi – 1400m of lace weight extra fine merino in black. Mmm, so soft, need to find the right pattern for that one!

Selfishness
I have decided not to knit any Christmas presents this year. Looking back over the year so far, I think I have only knitted myself a jumper, a scarf and one pair of socks in 2008. Compared to the cardigans, socks, jumpers, hats, headband, pair of slippers and a shawl I have knitted for others. Generally I am a pretty self-centred person, I come first but knitting has turned into an altruistic hobby. Perhaps as my knitting skills increase, I want to knit more impressive and complex gifts for friends and family, but I only have the same knitting time. My new ethos will be to knit something big and fancy for each family member’s birthday rather that squeeze in many small gifts at the end of the year.

So I have decided for the next few months, it is all knitting for me (except for the Tigers Eye Scarf – last present for the year). Phew! Feels like a weight of guilt being lifted from me. I DON’T WANT TO KNIT FOR CHRISTMAS!
I am thinking about what I want to knit and wear, the two cardigans and then another shawl for me. But there are some many pretty ones, I don’t know which one to choose. I pour over my knitting books while eating my muesli in the morning, trying to decide what next!

News – Mega SnB Melbourne Meet-up
Raveller Kebeni has organised an event for Melbourne SnBs.

TIME 11am onwards
WHERE Melbourne Botanical Gardens Meeting at entrance opposite the Shrine of Remembrance just past GATE F and the Childrens’ Garden. There is a visitor centre, toilets and cafe there.
WHEN Sunday 16th November
WHAT TO BRING knitting, hat, sunscreen, smile and picnic if required

So, announcing the “We give a KNIT about others!” Please don’t feel you have to do this but there will be a basket/box/bag at the event where those who choose to can deposit a toy they have knitted. These will then be donated to the MELBOURNE TOY RUN to be distributed to disadvantaged children.

This map
also has instructions on how to get there via public transport

Recently, I received a gift of a big bag of knitting stuff. My friend’s mum has arthritis and can no longer knit. My friend knows I am mad about the knitting, so she gave it to me. It has been hiding under my desk at work but tonight I bought the first bag home.
At first I felt sad…imagine not being able to knit anymore! How terrible! But then again, she is passing on her paraphernalia to someone who can make use of it. I hope to do the same one day. Thanks D’s mum! Check it out…

It is lovely and sunny outside this morning, spring is in the offing! My mind has turned to spring knitting and tossing aside the jumpers. The two spring/summer cardigans at the top of my queue are;

Both are cropped style, perfect for spring/summer Melbourne weather and covering up against air-con on casual Friday in my office.

I am planning to knit Acton in Serenity – Patons Bamboo/Cotton in black and unsure about what to knit the Hexacomb Cardi in (thinking of a pale pink with a black or chocolate brown trim). But this brings me to the next exciting spring knitting announcements; new colours/yarns by Australian Country Spinners!

Eagle eyes on Ravelry spied some new colours and yarns in their LYS. I have yet to see them in the flesh (popped into Clegs yesterday but yarns have been pushed aside for the hat and fascinator displays for Spring Carnival).

  • new Natural Cotton 100% undyed cotton in 8ply and 4ply in a range of subtle earthy colours (of course!) I quite like the pale green.
  • new colours in 100% Bamboo, including some bright blue, orange & green and a black

I can’t wait to see them in my hand. I might pop down to Wool Baa next weekend and have a looksie. There are also some great new supporting pattern books (although has anyone ever actually knitted a bikini?).

Wot’s on the Needs

  • Tiger’s Eye Scarf – had a disaster with the Blue Bayou Mitred Stole, the yarn I chose (Live2Knit Elizabeth in Smoke) just did not work with the pattern. I spoke to the gift recipient, we logged onto Ravelry and I showed her some options. Yay a chance to do more lace. I have completed a couple of repeats and it is looking lovely
  • Socks – almost finished Uneven Ribbing sock in Jigsaw Heirloom, which is looking great too.
  • The Goth Mermaid Shawl is still on the needles, I just to bind off. Maybe tonight during dvd time.

Other Cool Stuff

The new issue of Yarn magazine appeared in my letter box last week. Whilst it is the best Australian knitting mag by far, the new editors have not quite got the stylish look and layout of the Barbara Coddington issues. They still look a bit amateurish. But aside from that criticism, the content is pretty good with a combination of reviews, patterns, interviews and instructional articles. Especially in love with the Rain Stole by Ailsa Daly. The article deconstructing the argyle was very informative. And the ads are always good (I never usually say that about ads. I watch mainly SBS and ABC and listen to RRR to avoid most ads) I can find out about new, small local yarn producers who I would prefer to support.

Another new pattern that jumped straight onto my queue comes from another new online knitting magazines. We knitters are totally spoilt by the generous of spirit (and time) of people who produce these magazines (Yarn included!). Anyway…the pattern which fell into my queue is Gossamer Garden Stole (in the lace vein again!) by Lia Liang. Not a fan of the purple it is knitted in but I can see the beauty of the pattern. Also cool is Buttercup by Melissa Wehrle. Excellent stuff.